Eden Slezin



Academy of Art University





Having gotten into professional design at a later stage in my life, I think I have a unique perspective as a designer.  I have had numerous careers up to this point including scientist, USMC Intelligence Officer, backpacking guide, multiple business owner and retail General Manager.  All those have greatly enhanced my experience base and my goal is to always bring those experiences into my designs.  

I started my professional development aiming to be a scientist.  I got my undergraduate degree in Botany almost 20 years ago.  Deciding against the life of a scientist, I made the radical choice to join the US Marine Corps to see the world, figure out what it was that I wanted to do now, and discover myself.  I exited the Corps after 6 years, a few wars, and a lot more information on myself and the world.  The military, and specifically officer training, gave me the confidence, discipline and motivation to start my own business leading backpacking trips.  Tied in with that I started working at an outdoor retail store, called Sports Basement.  I was very quickly promoted to General Manager, and have worked in that position for over 12 years.  I always known this wasn't the career for me, but for it has taken me awhile to figure out the perfect fit . After an inspirational trip to Rio, my good friend and I started a small clothing company, called Cute Tank, making basic, men's resort clothing.  Very quickly I knew this was the path.  This was my passion and this was my future.  I set out on mastering the craft, with my recent MFA degree from the Academy of Art University in Fashion Design, and a show at New York fashion Week, a direct result of that.   

I like to identify myself as a designer, an entrepreneur, a leader and an adventurer.  My age and experience are a massive advantage in that I understand so much more of the business side, truly understand the type of work ethic and discipline this industry demands, and have the breadth of experience to know that design is truly my passion.  Besides a fulfilling career, I see fashion as such an amazing opportunity for personal, creative growth, and a perfect platform, due to its scale and influence, to highlight issues with global implications. Growing up working class, I never felt a career in the arts would be possible.  It has only been through all the experiences that I have had growing up and in my careers, that have led me to this present, fortunate position to be pursuing a dream. Perhaps as a conscious or unconscious ode to my origins lies my deep interest in vintage, masculine influences and more specifically, denim.  I always find denim and innovate denim treatments inspiring and, at this point, it remains a core fabrication in many of my designs.

Currently, I am working on my new brand, Mined on Denim, based on my collection that recently showed at New York Fashion Week in September.   I poured everything I love into this collection and it is the ultimate expression of who I am as a designer.   My goal is to create and grow my own, sustainable label where I can share the inspiration of my life and help bring about positive change in the fashion industry.  

What matters most with my designs, is that they are beautifully crafted garments that actually mean something.  My goal is to utilize my designs as a tool for wearers to express their individuality and/or their point of view.  Further, it is my aim to ensure that all my designs do no further harm to the environment.  I would like my designs to actually improve the world we live in, thus sustainability is core aspect of my design philosophy. Sustainability in my designs includes: organic/natural fabrics, no chemicals, recycled materials, local sourcing, timeless designs, quality construction and ethical design, operating and marketing practices. Ultimately, it's extremely important to me to create things of beauty, not things of destruction, that can enhance the world we live in and the lives of those inspired by it.